Feb 14, 2019

Homeschool Review Crew: For The Temple

I'm sure I have said it before, but one of my family's favorite products to review are audio theater productions by Heirloom Audio. We are always excited to get to listen to a new story! This time we got to experience their brand new story, For The Temple.

First, let me explain that Heirloom Audio does not create audio books. Not just a pleasant voice reading the story aloud, no, these are full-on theater presentations. Heirloom Audio takes a G. A. Henty story and turns it into a creative adventure. There are actors voicing different characters. There are sound effects. There is an actual sound track with background music setting all the different moods in the tale. Not just a story, it is a show!

The characters are played by real actors: Brian Blessed (Star Wars, Tarzan); Chris Larkin (Valkyrie); Cathy Sara (Downton Abbey); George Gladden (Les Miserables).

The story always opens with "Mr. George" (G. A. Henty himself) meeting up with youngsters and telling them a tale of adventure. This adventure is always rich with history and full of inspiration and character-building world view. I love that these stories, while fun and exciting, show my kids how to live with bravery, integrity and selflessness.

For The Temple begins in Roman-occupied Palestine in the year AD 67 with John and his betrothed. We follow John through many adventures: meeting Josephus; fighting battles against the Romans; capture and enslavement; and eventually, marriage to his Mary and a happy ending. Along the way, John makes friends with  a boy named Jonas, is introduced to the story and message of Yeshua (Jesus), and learns some valuable life lessons.

We were sent a physical copy of the CDs to listen to. We also received a PDF to download of the Study Guide. My kids love the audio production/ story. I love the Study Guide!

I don't print it, but keep it open on my computer as we listen so that we can periodically go over it together. It is divided into the sections of the story, so we can pause and discuss.

The Study Guide is full of comprehension questions, discussion questions, illustrations from the time-period, vocabulary words, background information, and applicable Bible verses.

It is perfect for exploring deeper into the story with your kids. I love to pause the story, ask a question or two, let the kids weigh in, ponder, and then discuss some more. Then we listen to more of the story.

My intention with For The Temple was to listen to it during our Morning Meeting time, but that didn't happen for several different reasons. Instead, we listened to it piecemeal across several afternoons. We usually listen to it in one or two sittings, but this time we needed to draw it out with shorter listening sessions. Either way works.

We really love Heirloom Audio and highly recommend it. We love getting to listen to each new story and truly believe that you will, too! Don't just take our word for it, though, click on the banner below and see what other reviewers have to say.

For The Temple {Heirloom Audio Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Feb 11, 2019

What I'm Reading

Do you read more than one book at a time? I seem to almost always have several things going and if I have a read a book enough times, (more than once, honestly) I can pick it up, read a bit here and there, and then put it down in favor of something else. So these four books (plus a couple books on Kindle that I'm checking out for stuff for school next year) are what I am currently reading "for real". As in, start to end, all the way through in chronological order.

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, I am reading aloud to everybody for school. It is a truly wonderful book and we all love it. 

Beauty is the little kids' book club selection this month and I am reading it aloud to them because it is a difficult book for kids of their reading prowess to manage with a deadline.

Percy Jackson, Book Two, I am reading because Nate recently discovered Percy and wants me to read it with him.

And finally, My Brother Michael I am reading just for me. I love Mary Stewart. She is my favorite "for fun and pleasure" author. I wish there were more of her books. I have read them all, I think. But this one is newly acquired and I am enjoying re-reading it. 

Feb 3, 2019

Bullet Journals

My daughter is introducing me to bullet journals. I'm not an artistic, creative person, but she is. And with her help, I am having a lot of fun!

The best part, of course, is that we work on them together. She is fun to hang out with and she inspires creativity in me. I also love to watch her create. She is an amazing kid! 

We are getting a lot of ideas off of the Internet and I am pinning them all onto my planning board. Feel free to check it out!

Jan 25, 2019

After Christmas Gingerbrerad Houses

Apparently the kids are outgrowing this tradition. Kaytie and Nate opted out of it altogether. Daniel and Abbie decided that instead of making two, they would just collaborate with one. They work together really well, so I expected something fabulous, but this was their final result. They had tons of M&Ms and marshmallows and red hots to decorate with, but I guess they ate them instead.

Although I do have to say their house did turn out pretty cute and Daniel fixed Abbie's mistake pretty well.

This is Santa, climbing in the chimney

and this is the sleigh and reindeer

Jan 8, 2019



2018 was a hard year for us. Incredibly hard. We faced job loss, an enforced move, deaths of multiple family members, the loss of a beloved pet, three car wrecks, financial stress, a hospital stay for a teenager, a lifestyle change, and a lot of little trials as a result of those big ones. It was hard. It was a year of grief and loss and anxiety.

But, it was also the year that we were the most blessed ever, in our lives. It was a year of being showered with love by friends who showed up with car rides, cards, meals, help moving, hugs, listening ears, ideas, financial gifts, forgiveness of my forgetfulness, prayers, clothes, encouraging words, emotional support, loving on the kids, teaching the kids math, science, a love of books, chess, how to lead, and more. I can't even tell you how many times we looked at each other with tears in our eyes and exclaimed, "We have good friends!"

This is amazing to us, who have always felt unlovable to be so enveloped in love from so many different people.

It was a year of God showing us that He is in total control. That His blessings are not always obvious, but that sometimes they are hidden in hardship. That His provision is often unexpected, unusual and undeserved but never, ever late. He had an answer for every question and a response for every dismay. Sometimes when God works and moves in our lives we don't even notice, but sometimes, like 2018 He shows us in huge, dramatic ways how much He cares for us, protects us and goes before us to prepare the way.

I'm hoping that 2019 is less stressful, but I am grateful for all the love, growth and blessings we endured in 2018.


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